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Well, I just finished the game and I thought I would post my opinions.

First off, I should mention that I received ending C, meaning I didn't get the best ending, which you can only attain by beating the game in a single stretch if I'm not mistaken. So that means no skipping worlds after shutting the game off. And I will certainly be trying to achieve that soon.

Anyway, obviously the first thing about the game that grabs attention is the art style. The whole Viking/Conan vibe is very well done, and Volgarr is just an awesome lead character. He really does look amazing when fully powered up, and the satisfaction of breezing through a level in full gear with the flaming sword is second to none.

The worlds and the enemies within are unique takes on standard fantasy tropes, and never is there any doubt that you are in Volgarr's distinctive universe. Volgarr the Viking possesses an unmistakable Sega Genesis throw back vibe, and there were moments the game brought back flashbacks of the '90s from the recesses of my memory. Level design is spectacular, and the game is an absolute joy to look at in motion.

Beneath the endearing style and graphics, a subtle brilliance of game play design begins to manifest as you become accustomed to the controls and the mechanics. There is no doubt in my mind, Volgarr represents an extraordinary water mark in 2D side scroller design. Every jump, every enemy and its placement, and every frame of Volgarr's actions are expertly crafted to create an entirely fair, yet undeniably crushing experience.

I have heard some people refer to the controls in Volgarr as clunky, and I definitely disagree.These controls are exact. What I mean by that is there are no saving throws here. There's no way to correct a mistake, a bad move or jump once its made. You either do it perfectly or you fail. This is an old school mechanic, and it is not artificial difficulty. It is a game play style that requires the player to absolutely master the game mechanics, instead of being able to make mistakes and still succeed.

The save system is inextricably tied to the controls and mechanics in creating the "old school difficulty" experience. Each world, save for the 6th, has a single check point at the half way mark. If you die, you either go back to the beginning of the world or the mid point of the game, assuming you have gotten that far.

What this accomplishes, in tandem with the controls, mechanics and level design, is setting a bar of skill and knowledge for the player. Nothing short of mastery will be adequate in completing a world. You may, and likely will, get lucky from time to time and avoid what seems to be an imminent death. But that luck runs out like the rolls of a die, and when you have completed a world, you know it is because you have developed an innate understanding of the mechanics and the level.

The game also contains a classic upgrade system in the form of power ups, which also serve as your hit points, a la Ghouls and Ghosts. Volgar can be equipped with two different types of shields, a helmet with adds attack speed and one hit point, a flaming sword, and Mjolnir's Aura which grants an extra hit point to the player, as well as a burst attack when Volgarr is hit. And, as mentioned before, Volgarr looks fantastic in full gear, flaming sword, and aura.

Because of all this, Volgarr The Viking has left me with a degree of satisfaction that most games never reach. Beating this game is an absolute triumph, and anyone can conquer it with enough time invested. Through trial and error you will learn every nook and cranny of a world, and all the nuances of the game play mechanics.....these discoveries together culminate in success when you muster the dexterity to pull it all off in a perfect run.

I firmly believe Volgarr is an immaculate game, and for what it is, I personally cannot find a single fault in it. This is one of those rare games I believe deserves a perfect score. It is not just a throw back to 2D side scrollers of the '90s, it is outright mastery of all the elements that made great games of the genre the classics they are.
YEAH!!! this game is so awesome, i love it. Have only killed the first boss and will probably never beat the game, It's really challenging. I can't see why some people complaining about the controlls. So far i haven't had any problem with it. And Völgarr is my new favorie character, he is so COOL.
Post edited October 01, 2013 by MrHerman83
Soundtrack is stunning, Its the first piece of music I have bought in probable ten years. The graphics are sublime, and up there with the best I have ever seen. The controls are dead on, but require finesse and practice. Even with all that, Volgarr is a niche title. The majority of players will not enjoy the brutal difficulty and few checkpoints. We live in a age where checkpoints are every five seconds, and where games literally play themselves. In my opinion Volgarr is game of the year, though.

Volgarr also brought back nostalgia for Realms of Chaos, another excellent side scroller beat'em'up available here on GOG. If you want more goodness in Volgarr's style don't overlook Realms of Chaos.